Risk & Uncertainty in the Wake of Large-Scale Disasters with speakers Sandra Bass, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Laurie Conkerton, Audubon Nature Institute; George McCarthy, The Ford Foundation; Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab, NHP Foundation; and moderator Christa Velasquez, Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Hurricane Katrina was the worst urban disaster in U.S. history. Given the scale of the disaster and the tourism-driven economy of New Orleans, the risk and uncertainty associated with recovery were tremendous. Similarly, other natural and man-made disasters offer opportunities for foundations to step up to support recovery.
This workshop will describe these efforts and discuss how, by underwriting much of the risk and uncertainty, PRIs can be a valuable financial tool in disaster response, the process of making and funding PRIs when disaster strikes, and how PRIs can be utilized to spur economic recovery and long-term development- PRI Makers Network
Sandra first joined the Packard Foundation from 2002 to 2004 and was a senior editor/policy analyst for The Future of Children. Sandra rejoined the Foundation in 2005 as program officer and is responsible for managing and monitoring our directed grantmaking funds, which include the President’s and Special Opportunities funds. She also conducts research and works on special projects for President and CEO Carol Larson.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Sandra was an assistant professor of criminology and government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She also served as interim associate director for the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University.
Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Jose State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from U.C. Berkeley. She was a doctoral fellow at Rand Corporation, testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on police accountability, and coedited Racial and Ethnic Politics in California Vol. II, 1999; and was issue editor for Children, Families, and Foster Care, The Future of Children 2004. Sandra is also a child welfare mediator with the Consortium for Children.
Laurie Conkerton is vice president for development for Audubon Nature Institute.
George McCarthy is Program Officer in Asset Building and Economic Development for the Ford Foundation. Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, he was a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. McCarthy is an econometrician with strong interests in housing policy and community development. He has worked extensively with community development and non-profit organizations. McCarthy has been involved in the evaluation of national home ownership campaigns. He has also evaluated home ownership counseling programs in the United States for both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. McCarthy has conducted research in house price appreciation in underserved neighborhoods, the default risk of affordable mortgages, housing affordability in U.S. metropolitan areas and the construction of indicators for sustainable development.
Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab
Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab is a member of the Board of Directors for Douglas Emmett, Inc. He is a member of DEI's Audit Committee. Mr. Mehreteab has served as Chief Executive Officer of the NHP Foundation since its inception in 1989. The NHP Foundation is a non-profit corporation based in Washington, D.C. which owns and operates affordable multifamily housing in many cities across the United States. Previously Mr. Mehreteab was vice president of the National Corporation for Housing Partnerships and a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Mr. Mehreteab is a board member of the National Housing Conference and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Mehreteab is a native of Eritrea, lives in Washington, D.C. and New York City, and received his bachelor's degree from Haverford College.
Christa Velasquez is Director of Social Investments at the Annie E Casey Foundation. The Foundation is a private charitable organization whose principal mission is to help build better futures for disadvantaged children and families.
Ms. Velasquez is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing the Foundation’s $100 million social investment fund. She develops and implements the Foundation’s evolving social investment strategy, designs social investment policies and procedures, and educates staff about Social Investments (SIs) and how to identify potential investments. Ms. Velasquez also manages the due- diligence process and is responsible for deal structuring, portfolio monitoring, developing a technical assistance plan for grantees and partners, and creating SI training tools.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Velasquez spent six years at Brody·Weiser·Burns (BWB), a consulting firm based in Connecticut, the last two years as an associate partner. At BWB, she specialized in social investing, community development financing, business planning for social ventures, program evaluation, and management of minority cultural institutions. She has worked extensively to develop new SI programs, evaluate and redesign existing programs, underwrite and structure investments, and monitor the performance of borrowers and investees.
Ms. Velasquez is on the Board of Managers of TRF Urban Growth Partners, the board of directors of the American Visionary Art Museum, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, and the Advisory Committee of the Yale University School of Management Internship Fund. Ms. Velasquez has an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A.